Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Only a week.

Hello everyone! I'm Kathleen - please forgive me for not updating sooner, I've been a little frazzled this past month :) And by frazzled, I mean I've visited 7 countries since graduation... its been a big fat wonderful blur!

I left America on May 8th for a European choir tour with the Trevecca Madrigalians, & we visited/sang in cities all throughout the countries of Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, & France. Then I hopped a plane (through the Czech Republic) to beautiful Bulgaria to be with all these loving people in Sofia.

I tell you that to say - when planning to leave America, I had no idea what to expect of this place. I thought I knew what Venice & Paris & Athens would be like, and I was mostly right -  lots of souviners and museums and cathedrals and a million other Americans also taking pictures and plenty of beautiful views and long bus rides and really really REALLY good food. But when I thought of Bulgaria, I couldn't picture the place, people, or even the smell? Its not really a place Americans hear a lot about, or know a lot about. I still only know 7 words in Bulgarian. This place is SO DIFFERENT from anywhere I've ever been.

Now, I've only been here a week. But my experiences so far have brought me to tears more than once.

Times like during our weekly team meeting, while singing worship songs together in a park & praying that God will do something big in our lives this summer, while riding in a bus through the beautiful countryside, headed to lead a kids camp in Stubel, (and I fell in love with them, what did you expect!?) while listening to a precious Bulgarian grandma request a prayer for her grandson in church, I even cried of happiness & excitement after a night of doing things I've never done before, like using an outhouse in the rain or picking up chickens with my bare hands...??!

Bulgaria is effecting me in a way that all the sights and smells of the really famous places in western Europe didn't. Those things were incredible to see, (and I'm SO happy I've been lucky enough to travel to see them, and yes, I loved western Europe) but they mean nothing without PEOPLE. The Eiffel tower is really beautiful, and the Acropolis is fascinating, but can those buildings teach me to love like God created me to? No. Only people can - and these Bulgarians (and 'American/Bulgarians' too!) are showing me. After only a week, I see the kingdom even clearer.

Bulgaria is affecting my tender (but sometimes selfish) little American heart.

And I feel so blessed.

- Kathleen

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